In previous years, I've usually managed to finish a few days before 30 November, but that's not the whole story. When I look back on the days I wrote and how many words got set down, it's much more like a flood/drought situation: 9,000 words (or more) on the weekend, maybe 1,000 during the week.
I seem to have deleted my old word count spreadsheets from previous years, but I did find a note from last year (where I got under 1,000 words done for the whole month, ouch!). The projected plan was if I wrote 2,500 words on Fridays, and 5,000 words each day of the weekend, and then another 5,000 on 11 November (because I work somewhere we get Remembrance Day off), then I'd just make it. That must have been a November which was heavy on overtime.
Yeah. I just can't feel bad about missing that one.
There's lots of sprints and other on-line events to get writers ready for November. For me, the best thing has been Friday Flash. Usually I wind up writing my story on Wednesday or Thursday nights. Often I don't have an idea for my story until Wednesday or Thursday night. To work out and write an entire short story, even a flash one, in that amount of time is a lot harder than sustaining a longer one. It also means that writing when I'm tired, sick, busy, etc. isn't as daunting as it used to be.
This year I projected that if I write:
- 2,000 words per block
- 1 block each weeknight
- 2 blocks on weekends, the vacation day I'm taking 1 November, and 11 November
All this play with numbers is a good reminder that in the end, it's not the word count, but the story that matters. The word count will get you a web badge and a certificate to print out. The story will get you most of the way through writing a book.